Stuffed Peppers with Brown Rice, Sausage, and Cheese

Alrighty, I've made stuffed peppers before, and they weren't a great hit at our house. It was a recipe with beans and rice (kind of mexican style) for the stuffing.... wasn't anything to write home about. Needed some meat! I wanted to give the whole "stuffed peppers" thing another chance last night. After all, green peppers were on sale this week.

Brown rice is the way to go. If I'm ever given the choice of white or brown rice, I'll choose brown 100% of the time. It's filling, and I love the taste. Simple as that. I think I could just eat a whole bowl of rice with a little soy sauce and a teeny bit of butter. Oh, and italian sausage, you ask? We love it around here. I usually use it in my lasagne (the mild sausage, not the hot stuff... I don't think lasagne is supposed to be spicy). And Ryan is a huge fan. Food is an excellent way to a man's heart, right?

This recipe turned out really well, but we found ourselves gobbling up the stuffing too fast.... leaving empty green peppers on our plates. For us, eating whole green peppers (2 per person) doesn't sound like a fun way to end dinnertime. Thankfully, the stuffing was filling, and completely delicious. We figured normal people who eat this probably just eat the pepper along with the stuffing. Hmm. Oh well. I'm glad we tried this recipe, though. Maybe I'll go egg roll crazy with the filling next time.

I had some stuffing left over, so I stuffed it in an empty ramekin with some spray coating so it wouldn't stick - little guy's lunch today (if he can handle peppers... haven't tried feeding him those lovelies yet). 

Thanks again, to Pinterest for so graciously providing the recipe.


"Stuffed Green Peppers with Brown Rice, Italian Sausage, and Parmesan
(With my commentary)

1 C long-grain brown rice (I used Uncle Ben's Brown Rice, but any long-grain rice will work.)
4 large green bell peppers, bottom trimmed, cap end cut off and diced, and seeds removed
1 large onion, diced
2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
2 links (about 8 ounces) turkey Sweet Italian Sausage (or other sausage of your choice. Use diced mushrooms instead of sausage for vegetarian version.)
1/2 tsp. ground fennel
1/2 tsp. dried Greek or Turkish oregano
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Cook rice according to package directions, or using a rice cooker. (Rice can be cooked ahead and used in this recipe later.)

Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Trim bottom of bell peppers so they have a flat surface to stand on. Cut off a fairly generous amount of the stem end of peppers, then remove seeds. Place hollowed-out peppers in a baking dish that you've sprayed with non-stick spray or olive oil. (A dish that's close in size to the peppers will work best.)

Remove stem part from the pepper caps and trim off any white membrane, then dice pepper caps and the onion into fairly small dice. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet, then saute diced pepper and onion for 3-4 minutes, until they are starting to soften but aren't browned. Remove pepper-onion mixture to a bowl, add 1 tsp. more olive oil, then squeeze sausage out of the casing and cook until it's lightly browned, breaking apart with the back of the turner.

Put the onion-pepper mixture back into the pan with the sausage, add the dried spices, and saute 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors. Then add cooked rice and Parmesan cheese, season the mixture with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, and cook just long enough to warm, about 1-2 minutes.

Stuff the filling mixture into the hollowed-out peppers, using a spoon to press the mixture down so it's tightly packed into the pepper shell. (A few years ago I stopped pre-cooking the peppers before stuffing, and now I prefer peppers that are stuffed raw.) If you have any extra filling, you can put it in a small ramekin and bake along with the peppers. Bake peppers for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and put a generous pinch of grated mozzarella on top of each pepper. Put peppers back into the oven and bake about 10-15 minutes more, until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot."
Recipe and Pic source: kalynskitchen.com

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